Is a PhD valuable?

Today the Dutch government confirmed the current Dutch approach to the doctorate, i. H where postgraduate students are treated and rewarded as employees, not students. Dutch universities (VSNU) tried to create the possibility for doctoral students to get student status, which would be much cheaper. They face a lot of resistance, from doctoral student organizations (for example, united on and from unions. The discussion has been going on for years (eg Trouw and DUB articles). I will not summarize all the arguments for you, but I will give a brief outline of the main reasons put forward.

They are not afraid of failure, they learn from it.

Remember when you graduated at the top of your class and went to graduate school and you thought you were a rock star doctor with golden hands who could date that would change the nature to send in another few weeks? Yes, it didn’t last long. You learned pretty quickly that you had to run experiments 30 times just to get an answer to the smallest question, then run another 30 experiments to get the correct p-value.

You have failed over and over again, daily, without recognition or decent pay. But you woke up the next morning to start all over again. Why? Because you knew that each mistake would bring you closer to the details of one piece that would bring it all together. You woke up to fail again because failure is the best teacher – failure showed you what to do again.

– PhD in physics

Entry salary: $93,700 Entry salary: $135,000

Physicists generally need a doctorate for science and research careers. This PhD leads to well-paid jobs as a research consultant, senior physicist, or professor of physics. Many doctoral students begin their scientific career as postdocs after completing their doctorate. Employment of physicists is expected to grow by 7% through 2024, about as fast as the national average for all occupations. The BLS reports that approximately 1,500 new jobs will be added to the existing 20,000 jobs in the next few years. This honorary doctorate carries one of the highest mid-career salaries on our list.

Is a doctorate financially attractive?

There is no doubt that a PhD education and experience is valuable in other ways, and you belong to the elite of this profession.

But is it worth it financially? We can use the data here to get a rough idea. There is a 5-figure annual premium for students with a degree, but there is also an opportunity cost, assuming you do the degree full-time and delay entering the usability profession. We assume that the PhD will be free of charge (all costs will be paid by the school), which is of course important. Also assume that it will take 5 years to get a PhD after a bachelor’s degree. If you skipped the extra years of study and got a job right after your bachelor’s degree, you would have lost about $50,000 a year, plus the $3,000 annual increase from your experience. After 5 years, a bachelor’s usability expert would earn about $292,000 – that’s the opportunity cost.

If you enter the job market with a doctorate in your pocket, you will immediately get a higher salary of about $68,000, but you are far behind the bachelor’s degree. Assuming you do well in your career (and we’ll all still be here in 25 years), you’ll never catch up because the $17,000 bonus will be a smaller and smaller portion of lifetime earnings . To make up the difference, maybe the Doctor should consider becoming a manager, although that’s not enough. Another option is to do a part-time doctorate that does not require you to leave a full salary (especially if an employer cuts the tuition).

Doctoral student life

  • The most important thing: a doctorate can open doors. In the case of certain fields, such as B. science itself, a doctorate may be required. And for others, a PhD can help you demonstrate expertise or skill, open doors, or help you advance to higher positions. Your mileage may vary!
  • You survived a doctorate: this achievement can be a great confidence booster.
  • You have a doctorate and you can use the title Dr. use lead. Certainly not a good enough reason to do a doctorate, but some help!
  • PhD can be hard! There are many challenges. If you are not careful and do not take good care of yourself, it can affect your well-being.
  • Being a doctoral student can (but doesn’t have to) be lonely, and thesis supervisors aren’t always as supportive as you’d like.
  • Also, especially during this pandemic time, you may not be able to get as much support from your manager, meet your colleagues or even access equipment and technical support as easy as you are in normal time.

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